How to Repair a Broken Square

Sometime during the dance, no matter what level you are dancing at, ¬†your square will break down. This can be VERY frustrating to everyone (think how the newer dancer must feel!). I sometimes hear “just keep dancing”. If ALL 8 dancers in the square recognize the current formation (which will change in-a-blink-of-the-eye), and can get there quickly, then the square really isn’t broken and you can “just keep dancing”. However, if 2 or more of the dancers have no clue what the formation is (which happens often), then you can not “just keep dancing”. Your square will “fiddle-faddle” around for way too long, and the frustration level will rise. Many years ago, it was in most Caller’s lesson curriculum to explain a procedure for “repairing the square”. For some reason, this small but VERY important lesson went by the wayside.


1. Return to home position as soon as possible.

2. The head ladies will take their corner’s hand and head couples will back out to form lines at the sides of the square.

3. On the caller’s command “EVERYBODY go forward and back”, they enter into the dance pattern.


1. Recognize that a number of sets have broken down and have formed lines at the sides of the hall.

2. Place the dancing squares into lines that are in a normal boy/girl arrangement.

3. Give the command “EVERYBODY go forward and back” in a bold voice which is the command for the broken squares to enter into the dance pattern.

The above instructions are good for use during the patter/hash part of the tip. If the caller is into the singing call portion of the tip, then it’s best to got back to home position with your partner and wait for the “Swing And Promenade” command. You won’t have to wait long – 99% of all singing calls have this command 7 times thru the song.

LET’S GET BACK TO DANCING!!! Submitted by Pam Dillander, Louisville, KY

  • Sometimes GOD calms the storm, other times, the child.